Petra’s One Mile Wonder: From the Siq to the Treasury

The Treasury, Petra, Seven Wonders

I step inside a mile-long meandering gorge, in a place completely unlike anywhere else I’ve been before. I carry on walking until the rose coloured rock carving known to the world as the Treasury starts to famously appear. Then I stop and stare.

It’s funny that Petra has become synonymous with the Treasury, yet I haven’t written about it until now. In contrast, my first article about Petra – named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, was all about hiking to the Monastery via the back entrance, but there is no denying that entering Petra through its well-known front route is an experience not to be missed.

Sometimes when I begin writing about a travel experience my memory doesn’t have the panache to bring the finer details alive. But the memory I have of walking from the Siq to the Treasury must be carved deep into my grey matter, as there’s little struggle to remember the chalky pathway, how I felt as sunlight broke between the narrow gorge, and the sound of chariots bolting past. I was completely lost in my own little world, taking everything in one step at a time.

Chariot in Petra, Siq

Horse and chariot ride in Petra, Jordan

Horse and chariot in Petra. From the Siq to the Treasury

The mile-long pathway to the Treasury winds its way through a gorge called the Siq. At times the gorge is deceptively narrow and can reach up to 180 metres high which creates a setting fit for any adventure film. In fact, it was the setting of the well-loved action film – Indiana Jones!

Staring up at the colossal rocks, I felt like I’d dropped inside the bottom of an earthquake, looking up at the space directly where the land had separated into two parts. This feeling is no exaggeration, or actually far from the truth after I learn the Siq was formed by tectonic movement pulling the rocks apart, and over the years water had rubbed the surfaces smooth and created beautiful curves of yellow, orange and pink rock.

Bedouin man in Petra, Siq

I passed only a few people during the mile long walk, and the quietness was broken up by the odd chariot thumping past and a friendly Bedouin here and there asking if I wanted a ride to the Treasury. But why would I? Why would anyone want to ride a chariot, when you can let the anticipation build up by walking as slowly as possible – and just think of all the photo opportunities you’d miss!

From the Siq to the Treasury in Petra

It’s not long before the vision you’ve been waiting for falls upon you, and the exquisite façade of the Treasury dominates your eyeline.  You’ll find this is the focal point for visitors, lines of camels, and Bedouins flitting between different languages as they communicate with international crowds. And now is the perfect time to soak up their knowledge of Petra – I guarantee you’ll be surprised at how willing Bedouins are at sharing tales of their homeland with you.

Camels infront of Treasury, Petra, Jordan

Camel ride in Petra, Jordan

And just in case you haven’t seen enough pictures… Here’s one more!

Petra - Seven Wonders of the World

Would you like to Walk through the Siq and explore Petra?

For more information about what you can do in Jordan, have a browse through my archives.

A travel & culture blog specialising in Scandinavia and the Arctic, peppered with the rest of the world in between.

'Petra’s One Mile Wonder: From the Siq to the Treasury' have 8 comments

  1. February 14, 2013 @ 1:22 am jenny@atasteoftravel

    Beautiful Shing. You take me back to that well trodden path and the excitement of seeing the treasury for the first time. You forget how long a mile is as you walk the Siq and at every corner I kept thinking is this it, will the Treasury be around this corner. It was certainly one of the most fabulous experiences I have had.


    • February 20, 2013 @ 1:34 pm admin

      Glad you loved walking through the Siq just as much as I did Jenny! I love how the trail makes the Treasury appear so well hidden, giving the illusion that you’re one of the first people to discover it – even if you’re not!


  2. February 14, 2013 @ 6:57 am Mary {The World Is A Book}

    I don’t think i can ever get enough of seeing the Treasury pictures since it may be awhile until I get there. These are beautiful pictures, Shing and thank you for taking me on this awesome virtual tour. What a sight!


    • February 20, 2013 @ 1:36 pm admin

      Thanks Mary – I hope you make it to Petra in the not too far future! It’s a far trek from San Diego, but if anyone is good as passing the miles it’s you!


  3. February 15, 2013 @ 6:54 pm Julika

    Beautifully written, Shing – I almost thought I was there. Can’t wait to experience this for myself someday!


    • February 20, 2013 @ 1:39 pm admin

      I couldn’t recommend anywhere more Julika! It’s a true feast for all the senses!


  4. February 20, 2016 @ 1:07 am The Ancient Wonders of Jordan: Petra - Ancient Facts

    […] The Siq. Source: The Culture Map […]


  5. April 17, 2016 @ 9:46 pm Filipa

    I want to go there!

    Just discovered your awesome site! Keep up the good work! =)

    kisses from Portugal



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